Friday, June 23, 2017

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When you live in the Northeastern U. S. like we did, you usually pack up your shorts and T-shirts about November and file them under "See you in April." But it was January, and that's a big winter month where we were living and people were suddenly all over the place in their shorts and their summer clothes. It was 74 degrees! We figured either our calendar or our thermometer were wacky, but they both were right. It was a great experience - June in January. Unfortunately, the weather fooled the bushes and flowers in our yard. They felt the warm temperature and said, "Ooo, this feels good. Must be spring. Time to wake up!" Sure enough, the buds started appearing all over our yard. But I wanted to yell at them, "Not yet, guys! This isn't going to last! It's too soon! It's an ambush! This isn't going to work!" Unfortunately, I don't speak "Plant" fluently. And when the inevitable freezing temperatures returned, those poor early-bloomers were in for a terrible shock.

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  • patience
  • God's Timing
  • rushing

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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The Lakota Souix call them the Paha Sapa. We call them the Black Hills. The people who live in Keystone, South Dakota, call them their backyard. If you have ever visited Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, you probably drove by or through Keystone. But the Keystone you drive through now isn't where Keystone used to be – not since the flood of 1972. It was devastating. Back then, Keystone was in the valley by a lazy little creek which suddenly became a raging flood one day in '72, roaring through that valley, destroying the town, and claiming many lives in the area. Well, it was then that the folks of Keystone decided to make a change. When they rebuilt their business district and many of their homes, it wasn't on the ground they had always been on. No, the flood changed all that. They moved up the mountain to higher ground.

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  • loss
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • safety
  • Your Hard Times

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Hundreds of thousands of Kurdish people had fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, and they were spread over miles of mountainside on the Turkish border. Christian agencies were flooding in with food, medical help and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But most of the Christian workers connected with the people there only from trucks and distribution points, where they handed out food and blankets. But the missionaries from one particular mission organization really broke through the barrier that others were encountering when they tried to talk about Jesus. They had a unique way of getting close to the people and winning their respect and their trust. You ready to hear their radical outreach strategy? These missionaries picked up the garbage. See, it was everywhere on those mountainsides, and it was getting pretty gross. Nobody wanted to do the garbage, but those who were willing to were the ones those people listened to.

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  • loss
  • hurt
  • friendship
  • your relationships
  • coworkers
  • encouragement
  • support

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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"Family Secrets" that was the bold headline on a Newsweek magazine. The story was inspired by what happened in the life of then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was, as she was being considered for that position, learned a secret her family had kept for decades. She thought her grandparents had been Czechoslovakian Catholics who died peaceful deaths. But they were, in fact, Jews who'd been murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. But Newsweek was using that incident to point out how many families have secrets in their closets, from hidden adoptions to hushed-up romances, sometimes with painful consequences. Like one lady the story told about, a lady named Deborah. She was a student at a music conservatory when she married an African-American man. She's white and she had two sons. Later that marriage ended in divorce.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • freedom
  • secrets

Monday, June 19, 2017

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Karen and I had some of the most exciting summers of our life spending a lot of time on Indian res¬ervations and making some wonderful friends in Native America. Some have even honored us with Indian names. My friend, Joe, gave me the Lakota name for "traveler". That figures. I re¬member the night Karen got into a snowball fight with some junior high girls that she'd met on the Lakota reservation. I think they were surprised that a mature woman would take them on in a snow battle in which she was outnumbered 4 to 1. Actually, Karen started it to break the ice. Of course, I would never intend to pun. Later, she called it the Little Bighorn II. But those girls were so im¬pressed, they gave Karen a name, which they still called her years later - Snowball. Then there was the night Karen picked up a mop handle to try to bring down the bat that was flying all over the dining hall where our mission team girls were trying to sleep. At breakfast the next morning one Native team leader gave Karen another Indian name - Kills With One Swing. Our experiences mirror what has long happened among Native Americans on a much more serious level, having experiences with a person and then celebrating it by giving them a name.

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  • Jesus
  • prayer
  • God
  • daily devotions

Friday, June 16, 2017

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Disney World. The Magic Kingdom. How can a four-year-old girl be a little cranky in that dream destination for kids her age? Our granddaughter had been having a great day there with her mom and her cousins while her daddy was busy in meetings. She'd done all the princess stuff she loved, she'd gotten the autographs of Disney characters that she loved, she'd gone on rides she'd been looking forward to. But for some reason, by early afternoon she was just a little out of sorts. By that time, her dad was available, and he showed up to take her on some rides. And suddenly, it was like the clouds had blown away and the sun came out. She was the bouncy, happy little girl we all know again. In retrospect, I guess it was easy to diagnose why the clouds had rolled in. Even in the middle of all the excitement a child could ever want, she was missing her Daddy!

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • family
  • dads
  • father

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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It was the largest oil spill in American history and in a sense, it was largely the fault of one man. The tanker Exxon Valdez, you might remember, ran aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill did incalculable damage to the local fishing industry, to the environment in that very majestic piece of America, and to a lot of wildlife. The Commander of the Coast Guard said the passage there is ten miles across. He said, "so wide your children could pilot a tanker through there!" So how did this happen? Well, an unlicensed third-mate was on the bridge that day, piloting the vessel. He was where the captain should have been. The captain was down below! That disaster happened largely because the man who should have been on the bridge – wasn't!

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  • family
  • husband
  • spiritual leadership
  • father
  • leadership

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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I met this intriguing guy. He's a recently retired Marine who had the great privilege of working security for George W. Bush when he was President of the United States. He's even worked as President Bush's spotter when he was in the weight room working out! On a couple of occasions, my friend had the opportunity to tell the President something that was very much on his heart. He said, "Mr. President, the folks from my church wanted me to tell you that we're praying for you all the time." At that point, the President turned to my friend, looked him straight in the eye, and said, "Then, would you please give them a message for me? Tell them the President is deeply grateful. There's nothing greater they could do for me."

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  • prayer
  • support
  • Moses
  • Spiritual warfare

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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There's this beautiful spot on the coast of Maine called Bar Harbor, because there's a bar in the harbor. It's a sandbar that's totally exposed at low tide and totally submerged at high tide. The bar goes from the mainland to a little island called, (You'll never guess.) Bar Island. The island's okay, but you will not spend a lot of time there. Although some people do – a lot more time than they had planned to spend. When our family walked across the bar at low tide, we made sure to check that tide chart to see when the tide would be coming back. As we were walking back from the island, the bar was already a little narrower than it had been – the tide had started coming in. Then there were those intelligent tourists who waited a little too long to start back, and there was no way back! Now, you know what? No one has to be stranded on that island. There is a way off, if you take it!

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • loneliness
  • love
  • alone

Monday, June 12, 2017

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When you think of being a tourist in Hawaii, you think about fabulous beaches, luaus, enchanted islands-fun stuff. My first visit to Hawaii was on a stopover from a mission to Singapore and I saw some of the fun stuff. But there's one thing to see in Hawaii that isn't very happy – Pearl Harbor. It was really touching for me to stand at the USS Arizona Memorial in the middle of Pearl Harbor, right over the wreckage of one of the ships sunk by Japanese bombers that awful December morning. Entombed inside that ship are hundreds of American servicemen who went down with her. How could such a total surprise attack have happened? Actually that's been debated by historians for a long time. But one reason the attack was so tragically successful was this-it came at 7:00 A.M. on a Sunday morning-in a place where everyone felt pretty safe...and at a time when everyone's guard was down.

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  • Sin
  • distractions
  • temptation
  • vigilance
  • relaxing
  • good times

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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